It’s been an amazing week of sports with an epic national championship finish; major league baseball opening week, and now Augusta Georgia takes center stage as the Masters begins today. There are plenty of storylines and golfers to look out for as this week begins. Will Spieth repeat? Will the Aussies dominate? Or will someone come out of nowhere and create a Cinderella story? It’s always been an entertaining week reminiscing about the history and amazing golf played there for centuries.
A new year means new possibilities I can’t wait to see what the 2016 Masters brings us. Here are my top five golfers to watch this week that has the best chance to don the green jacket and create their own legacy at the Masters.
The clear-cut favorite for many this week is the newly minted number one player in the world Jason Day. He’s playing the best golf of anybody heading into the year’s first major he’s coming off back-to-back victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Dell match play championship. I think he is poised to add a green jacket to his trophy case this week.
Not only is his game in tip top shape for this historic venue, but I also believe his mental toughness is second to none as he has dealt with multiple injuries and health issues that have popped up over the last couple of years. Most recently dealing with a back injury that almost forced him to withdraw from the match play, but was able to gut it out and dominate for the victory. He has also dealt with bouts of vertigo that have taken its toll on him as well, but he hasn’t those obstacles deter his golf game at all.
Another thing in Day’s favor coming into this week is his past performances at the Masters have been very good. He had a tied for second in 2011, a third-place finish in 2013, a tied for 20th in 2014 and a tied for 28th last year. He’s absolutely on fire right now and his confidence is through the roof and his past success at this tournament give him some good memories to draw on if needed. He has a really good chance to be wearing that green jacket on Sunday night.
Jason Days fellow Aussie Adam Scott is playing very good golf as well, picking up two victories thus far in 2016. He’s had to deal with changes, switching from the long putter because of the anchoring band. That story line was a constant question, Scott had to answer until his back-to-back victories then all the skepticism went away. I really like him this week because he’s had great success at this event, including being the first Australian born player to win the Masters in 2013.
In addition he’s had two top five finishes and a top 15 finish in his 14th career appearances at the Masters. He knows what it takes to reach the top of the mountain and as long as his putter cooperates with him and he carries the momentum he’s created early in 2016,he could definitely make some noise this week in Augusta!
Fowler is one of the most popular players in the game today and his skills have caught up to his popularity in recent years. In 2016,his game has been very consistent and I feel is going to break through in the very near future as he’s had so many close calls in major championships. A couple of those close calls were at the Masters with a tied for fifth and a tied for 12th in his last two appearances.
Fowler is a guy that if he gets his putter rolling he could make it from anywhere and strikes fear in his competitors because they know how much of a bulldog, he can be having no fear and taking calculated risks when he needs to jump start a round. He has the makeup and mentality to win many major championships.
I feel if he’s able to break through this week or this year it will open the floodgates for him and his confidence will allow him to play even freer and that’s a scary thought for all of his other competitors. Expect a very good week from Fowler this week that started off pretty awesome when he drained a hole in one at the par three contest. A pretty cool way to start an intense week.
Spieth is the defending champion so obviously I think he has a good chance to repeat. He is coming off an historic performance at last year’s Masters setting the scoring record at -18 and an overall ridiculous season with six victories and two majors.
This year has been a little more of a rocky road as Spieth’s obligations continue to grow and fatigue becoming a factor his game has suffered a little bit.Inconsistency on the greens and with his wedge play causing frustrations. However, he still has one victory this season and four top tens it’s just not the historic pace he was on last year.
I am still very confident in Spieth’s ability to find his wedge game and his putting ability because he can flip a switch and make everything he looks at. Also he has an awesome partnership with his caddie that can help navigate these intense major weeks. I think he will always have an advantage in that category as well.
I expect Spieth to have a very good week and would be surprised if he’s in the thick of things on the back nine Sunday because he did absolutely dominate the same course last year. His confidence has to be pretty high at this course despite the inconsistency of late.
The last guy that I think has a really good chance to win the Masters this week is Bubba Watson. Who is sort of flying under the radar despite being a two-time champion because of Jason Day being on fire and other big names overshadowing Watson. I feel like he’s had a pretty good season with the one victory, but he seems to know matter how his season is going he shows up at Augusta and contends.
He is one of the quirkiest golfers ever with no swing coach and a reckless abandon type attitude when he’s on the course because he can absolutely crush the golf ball giving him one of the biggest advantages and most of the time he takes advantage. Watson seems very comfortable at the Masters and plays it like any other tournament tee at high and let it fly.
His frustrations sometimes get the best of him, but somehow he is able to play the miraculous shot he needs to keep his round together it’s remarkable the things he can pull off. The reality is Watson is a very free-spirited player that has a great track record at the Masters and every time he’s able to see it up he should be a person to keep your eye on.
I know I chose five of the top golfers and didn’t really go out on a whim but they are in the best in the world for reason and they always put on a good show and create storylines. I’m sure there will be an out-of-the-box golfer that comes out of nowhere to make a run at the green jacket, but I feel like you will be talking about these five guys the entire weekend and it should be a Masters to remember! Sit back and enjoy and be jealous of the skills of these players wishing you were them!